Bracero Oral History
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Saul Ponce was born on October 4, 1928, in Valle de Zaragoza, Chihuahua, México; he had four siblings, and his brother was also a bracero; from his hometown in Valle de Zaragoza, he was transported to Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México to be contracted as a bracero; he enlisted in the hopes of helping his family financially; as a bracero, he worked in Montana, picking beets and cotton, cleaning corn, and milking cows; he was ultimately able to legalize residency for himself, his wife, and his children.
Summary of Interview
Mr. Ponce very briefly discusses his family and childhood; as a young man, he decided to enlist in the bracero program in order to help his family financially; from his hometown in Valle de Zaragoza, Chihuahua, México, he was transported to Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México, where he obtained his first bracero contract; he was then transferred to Rio Vista, a processing center in Socorro, Texas, and then taken to his worksite by plane; as a bracero, he worked in Montana, picking beets and cotton, cleaning corn, and milking cows; he and his brother were fortunate enough to live and work together while in Montana; there was an incident in which his brother was harassed by people not associated with program, but there were no other apparent tensions; he goes on to describe his living and working conditions, provisions, and remittances; because he could not read or write very well, he paid people, with money or favors, to write letters to his wife; she made money at home in México as a seamstress; he was ultimately able to legalize residency for himself, his wife, and his children.
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Interview with Saul Ponce by Violeta Mena, 2005, "Interview no. 1092," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.